Sophistry

The Clintons, former President William Jefferson Clinton and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, lack the necessary appreciation for veracity that many might seek in a presidential candidate and her spouse. The media, sycophants no more, point out blatant mischaracterizations by Senator Clinton of her personal experiences and the repetition of an inaccurate colloquial tale of medical insurance woe. Today, Politico.com reports that former President Clinton defended Senator Clinton attributing “end-of-the-day fatigue” as the cause of her Bosnia “mistake.” (Politoco.com, April 11, 2008, Bill Clinton defends wife’s Bosnia remarks”). A CBS producer, cited in the Politico.com story, points out that the St. Patrick’s Day speech former President Clinton referred to occurred “midmorning.”

Should voters hold Senator Clinton responsible for the speaking “mistakes” of former President Clinton? No. In fact, the voting public has a very short memory for Clinton speaking mistakes. The Clintons, collectively, will say whatever is necessary to illustrate the point at hand and move to the next. The Clintons find it easier in our society to ask for forgiveness than to tell the boring, non-illustrative truth.

The Clintons represent the negative of oration and public speaking. Dictionary.com lists several definitions for sophist.

American Heritage DictionaryCite This Source

soph·ist
(sŏf’ĭst)
n.

    1. One skilled in elaborate and devious argumentation.
    2. A scholar or thinker.
  1. Sophist Any of a group of professional fifth-century B.C. Greek philosophers and teachers who speculated on theology, metaphysics, and the sciences, and who were later characterized by Plato as superficial manipulators of rhetoric and dialectic.

[Middle English sophiste, from Latin sophista, from Greek sophistēs, from sophizesthai, to become wise, from sophos, clever.]

Does manipulators of rhetoric and dialectic, sound familiar?

If Senator Clinton states that she entered a Bosnian airport under attack and later people on the trip contradict her, then according to Senator Clinton, she “misspoke” and “made a mistake.” Should Senator Clinton have empathy for all the Bosnians who existed in Hell on Earth under the wretched rule of their cruel and inhumane dictator? Yes, absolutely. Should Senator Clinton adopt Bosnia’s Hell on Earth as her own personal experience for the purpose of exploiting the Bosnian existence to impress voters with an example of her life under fire? Absolutely, NOT.

Does the time of day and fatigue excuse a speaker from wholly misrepresenting her life experiences with examples of traumatic life stories? No.

Former President Clinton believes that voters will buy whatever snake oil he’s selling. When the media, who keep track of every stop on each presidential candidate’s itinerary, hear such speeches from anyone, including the former President, they take note and now point to the conflicts. Former President Clinton floated his explanation for the mistake to determine how the justification would be received, to see if anyone noticed.

We did notice.

Here’s some advice, the truth will set you free. Lies will provide more negative coverage. Mischaracterizations of easily verifiable facts will provide more negative coverage.

Senator Clinton, you choose.

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5 Comments

Filed under 2008 Election, Politics

5 responses to “Sophistry

  1. Excellent points, you have convinced me to not vote for Hillary or have you…

    It is odd that he (Bubba) is sticking with her original “mis-statement”, just today he was defended it again.

  2. Allison

    For the record: I have a hard time with any comparison of Senator Clinton to Eleanor Roosevelt.
    She’s human, she’s going to say stupid things. McCain just said he never misses an episode of The Hills for goodness sake. They’re all going to screw up. It seems to be a game of who screws up less. With, of course, the exception of our current president.

  3. Strick

    I am not a “Clinton-hater,” so I don’t come to this argument with my hackles up, already ready to defend them, no matter what they do. On the contrary, I am very disappointed in the way Ms. Clinton has prosecuted her run for the presidency–but on the other hand, is this not where we have come to in the American body politic? Show me 100 politicians, and I would be willing to bet that no more than one or two will tell the truth when a “manipulation of the truth” will serve them better–and the saddest thing about this turn of events is that we, the supposedly intelligent voting public, continue to elect these people. It has been a consistent fact for at least the last 30 years that voters vote for the man (and now, woman) who tells them what they want to hear–primarily that things are fine and dandy, we can have every service we think necessary and still have tax cuts, all is well and good in the land of Uncle Sam. We do not elect those who tell us the raw and uncomfortable truths. In fact, until perhaps this election cycle, we have never allowed anyone who was facing (and stating) hard facts about our country and its situations to get past the earliest primaries. Apparently the great majority of us want easily digested political pablum (sp?) and surface patriotism characterized by militant flag-waving.
    No; I’m not going to vote for her–I didn’t think I would at the beginning of the campaign, but there were good moments when I thought to myself that, if it came to that, I could be okay with her presidency. However, there have been far too many gunfire-in-Bosnia incidents, and what faith I might have had in her being able to be a GOOD president has been eroded. It makes me sad to think that this is the politics that my children and grandchildren will take as the norm.
    Thanks for writing such a balanced, intelligent, and thoughtful response to the situation. I hope your blog will have LOTS of readers, and that there will be much dialogue.

  4. Strick

    oops; this comes from writing too fast and not editing: “…hater’; BUT I do not….” Sorry.

  5. Monica

    This is not the first time Clinton has “mispoke”. She “mispoke” about the sniper fire in Bosnia three times. I wouldn’t call this a mistake. It’s just an flat out lie.

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